The flight from Beijing to Lhasa went well, and Tsering from the Tibet University met me at the airport. The drive from the airport to Lhasa took about an hour, and we did see several good birds on the trip. The cracking Ibisbill was the ultimate one (about ten birds seen), but several Great Black-headed Gulls, Brown-headed Gulls, Hill Pigeons and Oriental Turtle Doves made the drive even more noteworthy.
When we arrived at the hotel in Lhasa I finally could say hello to the altitude. Suddenly all the blood from my head felt like it was drained out, my heart was pounding like hell, and I had to sit down. My body felt totally exhasted... We calmed down over a cup of tea before going out to eat at a restaurant. I had read that the extraordinary butter tea was good for altitude sickness, and drank at least a litre of it. Butter tea is made out of Yak butter, tea, water and salt. A special taste for a Norwegian, but not bad at all. Despite consuming lots of it, I had great problems sleeping during the night. I didn't have any headache, but I felt an intense pressure inside the head. Nevertheless, during the next day I felt fine again.
|Lhasa - Old Town|
Day number two in Lhasa was spend for shopping and watching attractions in this extremely nice city, including the huge Potala Palace (where the Dalai Lama used to live). Not many birds in the middle of Lhasa, but several White Wagtails and some Asian House Martins were present.